Returning to the theme of the Body of Christ. Fundamental to our understanding of what Paul means by this is, according to KIm, the cross. Crucifixion was for slaves, the marginalised and the poor. Through Jesus God identified with them. This is why Kim argues Paul cannot mean hierarchical or hegemonic unity. Jesus' death identifies God with the lowest in society. The problem in Corinth was the patronage system and the resultant perception of unity as between leadership, rather than in the solidarity of the most marginal people.
Kim cites several passages from contemporary accounts of crucifixion and then comments (page 53):
How could we believe that Paul would disregard the experiences of the most vulnerable, the slaves and victims of the Empire, when he talks about Christ crucified? How could we believe that the same Paul who made the cross central to his message would side with the hegemonic body politic based on the Stoic ideal of unity? It appears, to the contrary, that the image of Christ crucified deconstructs society's wisdom, power and glory.
This view stands in direct contradiction to the idea of the crucifixion as a sacrifice made by God to atone for human sins. It overlooks the suffering of the marginalised and draws attention away from the reality of human sin.
It seems to me this reinforces the fundamental idea of incarnation. The God we know is incarnated in the flesh of the marginalised and the crucifixion is evidence of this.
Unity then is to be understood not as drawing boundaries between those who believe correctly and those who do not. Rather it is solidarity between those who know the crucified Christ and bear his scars. In terms of conversations it is a radical reminder of those who most definitely need to be involved. It is not therefore the formal ecumenical talks that matter, but the wider oikoumene.